In the course of my own career, I’ve encountered many people who are unhappy with their occupation or current job situation and who desperately want change, but they don’t know how to do it or even what that change looks like. That’s because, deep down, they don’t believe. They don’t believe they can find the right job, or they don’t believe they can take the ‘risk’ of doing what they love.
But perhaps most disturbing—and one of the chief roadblocks along the journey toward life and career satisfaction—is that many don’t believe they are truly deserving of a job that’s the right fit.
For some, this isn’t a truth that’s easy to get to or to realize, yet it’s imperative to identify in oneself. Feeling undeserving is all too often at the heart of being stuck in a place you don’t want to be.
Feeling undeserving is all too often at the heart of being stuck in a place you don’t want to be.
If you recognize or discover that you feel undeserving or unworthy, you’re not alone. Many career and psychology experts believe there’s a pandemic in our world that’s killing the spirit and soul of most of us. It’s the belief that you’re not good enough.
This insidious and false belief is a result of the voice of your inner critic, a voice guaranteed to limit your dreams severely. So, let’s look at how to help silence this negative talker.
First, understand, and forgive
This article by Suzanne Lachmann, Psy.D., How to Finally Feel Good Enough to Deserve Better, speaks volumes, and also aligns perfectly with my own theories and coaching practice. Here’s an excerpt.
“Though it can be nearly impossible to believe, the first step toward chipping away at the power of feelings of un-deservingness is that you may not fully understand the origins of how and why these feelings formed. Nearly everyone holds onto seeds from their past that contribute to feeling undeserving.
It’s important to work on giving yourself a break for failing to achieve all the expectations that you, or society or your family, friends, and partner think you “should” have achieved up to this point.
With your own unrealistic bar of achievement and society\’s set unrealistically high, it\’s hard to find compassion and forgiveness for the regrets (that you may have), and other experiences that brought you to (what can be) this place of deep-rooted self-loathing. Working toward self-compassion is the key to transcending your own expectations as well as society’s and shifting the power to your understanding of yourself.”
About the inner critic
Our inner critic is formed early in life when we internalize the ideas or voices of other people, which most of us tend to do. These other people are key influencers such as parents, grandparents, teachers, or first bosses. Their voices and opinions form part of our self-image, so when they’re critical and judgmental, our inner voice often becomes a critical one. If the voices of our significant others were supportive, on the other hand… we can comfort ourselves when we fall short or make a mistake.
Methods to silence your inner critic
How many times do you catch yourself saying: “I should have done this.” Or: “I should have known this would happen.” Or some variation thereof. There was an American comedian, oh, about 30 years ago, named Loretta Laroche. One of her famous lines was, “Don’t should on yourself.” Easy to say, but not always easy to do.
When you find yourself saying “I should” too often you’re most likely stuck behind self-imposed limits. These types of restrictions are common and are often so integrated into your life that you don’t even notice them. In fact, they’ve probably become so much a part of your life that they’ve become your truth.
Taking an objective look at these self-limiting beliefs may help you realize that what you thought was the truth, may be something else entirely. Finding YOUR truth is liberating, it will bring you joy, and give you the freedom to believe that you CAN do whatever you want, AND deserve to.
A technique for discovering and silencing your inner critic.
Take a pen and paper and write down all the negative messages your inner critic continually repeats. You can also write down the messages that you remember hearing from others at any time in your life. (Like “never wear white clothing after Labor Day”)
- What is the message you tell yourself?
Example: I could never be an entrepreneur.
- What is the source?
This is not about blaming anyone or pointing figures, but simply about understanding the root, or source, of assumptions you’ve lived with all your life. Once you’ve identified the source, it’s easier to let it go.
Some assumptions were handed down by our parents. Others can be related to rebellious actions we’ve taken. For example, when I was 15, I told my dad I wanted to be a doctor. His response: “I know you very well. You will never be a doctor.” So, what did I do? I set out to prove him wrong, of course. Turns out he was right. But I spent too many years stuck with a belief borne of rebellion. Other beliefs might have a cultural source. Think of the Québécois expression « Je suis né pour un petit pain. » (I only deserve a small piece of the pie). I wonder if Céline Dion would have been as successful if she or Rene Angélil believed that?
Another very large source of your inner critic’s voice is Guilt; thinking or believing that you are a terrible person if you don’t do such and such.
Example: My father used to say that entrepreneurs were folks who couldn’t get a proper job.
- What is the assumption (What do you believe)?
Example: I need to have a proper job to be successful.
This is a great start to identifying, understanding your inner critic. The next step is to shift your perception positively by examining the evidence and then reminding yourself of the evidence.
A step-by-step action plan:
- Notice when you are ‘shoulding’ on yourself. Think about what you truly want.
- Acknowledge what you’re thinking completely.
- Re-direct your thinking to an empowering decision that will allow you to re-state the issue in a POSITIVE way; very simply, the opposite of what you were thinking.
- Remind yourself of the evidence: AND I KNOW THIS IS TRUE BECAUSE… Read the statement aloud.
A real-life example.
- What do I want?
- I want to be an entrepreneur.
- What is your inner critic telling you?
- I believe it’s too hard and it’s too much work.
- I’m afraid of not having enough security.
- What is the opposite, or how can you restate this in a positive way?
- I’ve worked hard before.
- I love the flexibility of being my own boss.
- I can succeed if I’m working at something I love.
- What is the evidence that this is true?
- And I know this is true because…
- I’ve done hard things before.
- I have more energy than most.
- I have successfully completed several contracts already.
- And I know this is true because…
You have the right
You have value—everyone does! You have the right to believe in yourself. Give yourself that permission. If you find it hard to give yourself permission, again, use facts.
I’m here to help in all the stages we’ve discussed in this article – and more. I’ve dedicated my career and life to help you find joy in the right work for you, the job that is the right fit, the career you deserve.
Feel free to reach out and book a FREE call with me to find out how you can start to turn things around and Believe you deserve the right job. It’s simple. Go to my calendar at www.daniellesilvermanconsult.com.
You will use this new found or renewed belief in yourself to step in the direction of your dreams.